The coroner has written to the Transport Secretary appealing for a change in the law after a mother and her two children died after a crash in North Yorkshire. 

Shirley Hunt, 44, daughter Ellie, 9, and son Oscar, 5, died in August 2021, after the modified motorhome they were riding in collided with a stationary HGV near Barton Hill, between York and Malton. 

A fourth passenger, six-year-old Brooklyn Hunt, was taken to hospital with a serious head injury and survived the crash.

The motorhome, being driven by Shirley's husband, Craig, had unexpectedly blown a wheel, causing the horrific fatal crash.

At an inquest into the deaths, the court heard that the family, of Rotherham, had been on holiday and were returning home from Whitby at the time of the accident with Shirley and Ellie sitting in the rear of the vehicle and Craig and the two boys in the front.

Assistant coroner Alison Norton, for North Yorkshire and York, has called on the government to take action, as there is currently no legal obligation for seat belts to be fitted in the rear areas of motorhomes, for passengers to use when the vehicle is moving. 

The coroner deemed the issue serious enough to warrant a prevention of future deaths report, sent to Mark Harper MP, the Secretary of State for the Department for Transport. 

This means the chief coroner is notified of the concerns, and organisations involved are required to implement a plan to prevent deaths in the future. 

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In the report, Ms Norton wrote: "Whilst it was not possible to establish whether Shirley Ann Hunt and Ellie Loise Frances Hunt would have survived the impact if they had been wearing seatbelts, as a wider point of public safety, I am concerned that adults and children over three years can travel in the rear areas of motorhomes without restraint, and that in doing so, this may create a risk to life."

She added: "In my opinion action should be taken to prevent future deaths and I believe you (and/or your organisation) have the power to take such action."

The Department of Transport is obliged to respond to the report by May 15, outlining action taken or proposed to be taken, and setting out the timetable for action.